The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Because He First Loved Us"
The Bible does not record the life of the prodigal son after he found lavish grace and mercy when he returned to his father.
"And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him…. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry, for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found" (Luk 15:14-16; 20-24).
Surely we can imagine with a likely degree of accuracy that after his return, the redeemed young man must have sought to love and honor his father with every fiber of his being. As the Lord Jesus Christ counseled His disciple, "Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged" (Luke 7:42-43). The son knew how much he deserved complete rejection and denial of all family privilege. He knew even more how much he received complete acceptance and access to the father's largess. We can surmise he sought to love as he had been loved, always knowing he could never begin to requite his father's bestowal of kindness.
"We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
We have all been forgiven for far more than we know. "Secret sins" characterize every believer's history, along with the failures of which we are aware (Psalm 90:8). If all paraded before us, we would find ourselves overwhelmed with grief. Like the prodigal son, however, as we turned our hearts toward Home, we would see our blessed Father running toward us with love and merciful forgiveness. His grace would overwhelm us far more than our sins, and we would long to love and honor our God with far greater fidelity, faith, and faithfulness. "I will love Thee, o Lord, my strength" declared King David, who personally, solemnly, and gratefully knew the heart of mercy that beats in the living God (Psalm 18:1).
God loves to forgive far more than we love to be forgiven. "He delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). He thereby wins hearts to Himself as "the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4). We are all the prodigal son in the sense of having too often failed and fled from our Father. Thus, we all have the potential to love Him far more as we realize and honestly confess our wanderings. Moreover, when we remember the bloody and agonizing sacrifice of the Lord Jesus that made possible our acceptance and favor with God, we surely cannot fail to devote ourselves to our Heavenly Father with growing sincerity. One can imagine the restored son daily approaching his father with far more determination than had once led him to run from his father to the swine. "Father, what can I do for you today? Just tell me and I will be so very glad to do anything you want or need me to do. Anything!" The more we know the grace we have received in Christ, the more we will make our daily approach to the Throne of grace to devote ourselves to the glory and will of the Father who has so graciously received us.
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
(I Corinthians 10:31)